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Belize Retirement News



May 14, 2018 - Chat with an Expat: Geckos Eat Mosquitos and Other Things to Love About Caribbean Life with Michelle Lyons

We spoke with Michelle Lyons, a real estate agent in Belize and owner of the Gecko Bungalow. She shared her experience with restarting her real estate career in Belize and, the coolest part of the year! Hint: It has nothing to do with when is the best time to snorkel in Belize’s world famous coral reef.


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Showing properties in Belize!


Wrobel & Co: Thank you, Michelle, for chatting with us today. Here we go! First thing that people like to ask us Belize expats is, when did you move to Belize and why did you choose to move here?

Michelle Lyons: Before we found Belize, Mexico was the only place we considered. We began visiting the Yucatan Peninsula in 1988 and fell in love with the climate and people. Our dream was to get married and have two kids, send them off to college and then move to the Caribbean. We spent every vacation with our kids exploring Mexico until I took a cruise with our daughter that stopped in Belize. When I found out that English was the national language, it just made sense to move even further south than we had planned. We arrived in March of 2011 Now, we can't imagine having the life we have in Belize anywhere else in Central America. Not being fluent in Spanish, we couldn't have worked in the professions we are in or opened businesses as easily.


W & C: You also sold property in your hometown of Boise, Idaho for nearly ten years(!) before you moved to Belize. What was it like for you to restart your real estate career in Belize?

Michelle: Starting over in Real Estate in a new country was not as difficult as I thought it would be. When we first arrived in Belize, not knowing anyone, we spent all of our time traveling around the country getting the lay of the land and exploring. When I joined Belize Sotheby's International Realty I had already made some great contacts which led to leads.


W & C: What are the major differences as it relates to real estate transactions in Idaho and Belize?

Michelle: One of the many noticeable differences is in the role of the real estate agent. Because we use lawyers to facilitate the transfer of ownership, the initial contract the agent uses for the buyer and seller is much shorter and more simplified than in the states. Rather than discussing the myriad of "disclosures" required in the U.S. we get to focus on negotiating the price, terms and closing date that works for both parties. Once the fundamentals are agreed upon, we turn the Purchase Agreement over to Wrobel & Company.


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W & C: As a real estate agent, which places are most in demand in Belize and why?

Michelle: While there will always be buyers seeking the island life (and who can blame them?!) we are seeing more and more buyers who want to explore the diversity of the mainland.

The Corozal District has an active expat community who appreciate the proximity to Mexico for shopping, sightseeing and medical services. The bay and coastline are beautiful, and the prices are affordable.

Belize City and Belmopan have many large homes and are areas where you’ll meet business people and Embassy dignitaries.

The Cayo District has beautiful clear rivers, vast acreage, and rolling hills that extend to the Guatemalan border. The nights are cooler, and we enjoy spending nights in a Jungle Lodge when we are showing properties for multiple days. Several beach villages dot the coastline as you approach the peninsula, another very popular location. Resorts, fine dining, watersports, and a cruise ship destination keep the area bustling with activity.

Even further south towards Punta Gorda people are drawn to the farms, fishing, and the remote location. No two places are exactly alike, and the diversity is part of the draw to Belize!


W & C: Favorite animal in Belize?

Michelle: My favorite critters are the Geckos! We don’t have them in Idaho, and I’ve come to appreciate them immensely, they’re always working, eating bugs, ESPECIALLY mosquitos.


W & C: Favorite drink in Belize?

Michelle: We have several mango trees in our yard, and they make the best smoothies! During mango season we can freeze enough to last year round!


W & C: Favorite time of year in Belize and why?

Michelle: Part of the allure of moving to the Caribbean was getting to skip winter. Now after seven years in Belize we do enjoy an occasional cool January evening when the temperature can dip down into the 60’s overnight!


W & C: Where is your favorite place in Belize and why?

Michelle: We enjoy driving a stretch of road called the Hummingbird Highway. The jungle is thick except for orange orchards and small towns with roadside vendors, you can’t help but wonder about the Mayans who settled there.


W & C: Where can people go to learn more about you and what you do?

Michelle

Facebook - She Sells Belize

LinkedIn - She Sells Belize


W & C: Can you elaborate on your interactions with Wrobel & Co. and more specifically, our managing partner Ryan Wrobel? Do you feel that our office has anything to offer your clients/guests?

Michelle: I appreciate knowing that when I send clients and customers to Wrobel & Co they are going to get the most professional service offered in Belize. Ryan Wrobel’s high standards are reflected throughout every member of his staff, from the professional setting, prompt response to calls and emails, to the exact letter-of-the-law advice. You never have to doubt the progression of your transaction with the excellent communication skills throughout the closing process. If you are considering investing in Belize, your first call should be to Wrobel & Co!


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Interested in retiring or relocating in Belize like Michelle did?  Contact Wrobel & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, and we’ll get you started on your Belize retirement or relocation journey today.

To learn more about retirement in Belize, visit our Belize Retirement FAQ page here.




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